Sometime ago a licensed artist wrote this up in answer to a question from a couple of newbies: how does one go about getting one's art sold or licensed as greeting cards? I am republishing her answer here, with her permission.
As a note regarding my blog policy – you're welcome to comment on this posting if you wish to contribute to it; please keep in mind two important criteria: 1. constructive criticism and 2. respectful dialogue. Inclusion in my blog is not an endorsement of a particular point of view but only a recognition that we can learn from open conversation among a diversity of perspectives.
How to get your art published (licensed or sold) on cards:
1. Choose a holiday (valentine's) or sending situation (birthday-feminine) to work on.
2. Design a dozen and include your best art skills, typography, color, sentiment, trends and just work on the cover - not the inside - for now.
3. Work to size (5 x 7 approx.), use your best paper, pens -whatever your medium is.
4. Print out each one separately, in color, and make sure your complete identification, contact info, logo, etc. is on each page.
5. Research your list of clients to send these examples of your skills to – i.e. humor or photo only card companies don't want to see your watercolor florals. General card companies do. Your research will guide you as to which companies your art will fit into, or even if they take submissions, and what their schedule is. Read the 2010 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market, or other similar books, to get a list going of companies to send to.